Residents of Romford are up in arms after their local Business Improvement District (BID) banned hoodies to tackle anti-social behaviour. The scheme was launched on April 18 after town leaders said they saw a “rise in anti-social behaviour”.
As a part of the trial scheme, which is backed by councillors and the Metropolitan Police, anyone visiting the town in East London will not be allowed to wear ski masks, hoodies or helmets that cover their face.
The locals in the UK’s town have termed the move as the “most stupid thing”.
To explain the new rules, a number of posters have been displayed over the town.
Those who break this rule will be asked to leave and police will be called if “there is any aggression”.
The scheme has left several locals fuming.
Mohamed Amraoui, a 24-year-old prison officer, told The Observer: “It’s the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard in my life.
“It’s a debatable topic because stereotypically someone wearing a ski mask wants to make trouble.
“But there’s a lot of diversity around here and people wear it for fashion.”
Jon Yates, executive director of the Youth Endowment Fund, said he’s not sure banning hoodies will work.
He said: “Hoodies tend to be worn by young people, so it’s labelling a whole group as negative. It’s quite draconian to stop people wearing what they want.
“And there’s a danger that by doing something for which there’s no clear evidence, it’s a distraction from what does actually work.”
On Twitter, others voiced their concerns.
One wrote: “Wouldn’t they get on better by stopping illegal drugs & illegal knives, rather than trying to stop people wearing legal clothing?
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“I’m 60 and if I want to visit Romford in a hoodie then no one will stop me as it is ain’t illegal. Next time I’m in Essex I may just do this.”
Another added: “Ooooh – I’ll be in Romford in a couple of weeks – I’m going to wear my hood up and see if anyone says anything! (Betcha they don’t, me being a white, middle-aged woman an’ all).”
A third wrote: “Can they ban it raining in Romford too?”
Julie Frost, Romford BID Director said: “I really hope that this initiative makes visitors feel safer – knowing throughout the town there are measures in place to deter anti-social behaviour and prevent crime.
“Working together we are determined to restore people’s confidence and ensure the town is a welcoming and enjoyable place to live, work and visit.”
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